Copyright (c) 1997-2011 by Edgie Polistico - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 
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The importance of Cebuano morpheme                   

There is no easier way to learn Cebuano than to keep on communicating (talking and listening; reading and writing) with someone in Cebuano. But in cases where Cebuano speaker is too few and hard to find, the alternative would be to chat online with a native Cebuano speaker via Yahoo Messenger or any similar social network where you can call them too over the phone and have a friendly discussion. You may also buy instructional audio tapes, or watch online Cebuano television and radio programs with Cebuano-English dictionary on your side, or read Cebuano reading materials such as the Bisaya magazine (by subscribing or accessing BISAYA online)  

For advance learning, the best thing to do is to know what are the morphemes (rootwords and affixes) used in Cebuano. Basically, Cebuano is more about transformation or conjugation of root words by attaching affixes.  The grammatical structure in Cebuano is not very complex compared to English. Cebuano grammar is easy to learn once you know its morphemes. 

For the root words (and lexicons), you can find them in the Edgie Polistico's Cebuano-English Dictionary (download the MS Word book version sample files AAA-KKK.doc, DDD-HHH.doc, III-OOO.doc and PPP-PPP.doc.)
For the affixes used in Cebuano, click here.
                      - Edgie Polistico

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    Edgie Polistico's
    Cebuano-English Dictionary

    Download FREE digital copy of
     Version 2.8.75

    (c.) 2009 - Edgardo Bongato Polistico, Manila, Philippines
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    (Mga pagkain at lutuin sa buong Pilipinas)

    A great compilation of Philippine delicacies, dishes, ingredients, culinary tools and cooking terms known from the northern tip of Batanes group of islands down to the farthest southern island in Sulu archipelago.

    A culinary reference that does not discriminate the latest Pinoy food inventions or the long-time traditional Muslim food in the South. Entries include foreign food that are even

    tually adopted by us, Pinoy, or are now available in the market and malls anywhere in the country today.

    Of course, it also promote the much featured food in Tagalog, Visayan, Capampangan, Ilocano, Bicolano and other Pinoy favorites in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

    If you wish, contribute your entry of Pinoy food not listed yet here.


    Edgie Polistico's Pinoy Food and Cooking

    A great inventory of Pinoy Food & Local Cuisine
      Encyclopedic compilation of Philippine food & related items

    - Pagkaing Pinoy
    - Lutuing Pinoy
    - Pinoy exotic a nd street food
    - Pinoy spices, condiments and other ingredients
    - Learn some culinary tips and cheats
    - Different kinds of Philippine fishes and other marine and aquatic food
    - Pinoy food names and cooking terminologies and how it is called in other Pinoy dialects

    - Philippine bread and pastries
    - Philippine sweets and confections
    - Philippine wines and vinegar
    - Philippine fermented food
    - Philippine preserves - salted, swe etened, pickled, or dried
    - Pancit and other noodles
    - Kakanin at mga inuming Pinoy (mainit o malamig)
    - Philippine animals and their meats
    - Philippine vegetables and other edible plants
    - Philippine grains and seeds
    - Philippine root crops and tubers
    - Philippine fruits
    - Philippine cooking wares and utensils
    - Demonyms
    - least known food in the Philippines - and some food that only the poorest Pinoy could afford or has the guts to eat
    - most expensive food in the Philippines - Pinoy food that only the very rich could afford to buy 

    he following are adopted by Edgie Polistico in his compilation of Cebuano words (The Cebuano-English Dictionary). This is an attempt to standardize the varied spelling of Cebuano words. There were many influences in establishing standardization in the spelling, such as that during the Spanish era and shortly thereafter, Visayan books and other print materials were printed with so much adaptation of Spanish alphabet. When the Philip
    pines was freed from the Spanish colonization, local publishers and writers were scrambling to establish their own identity as Bisaya. There was a confusion as most of them chose to adopt the influence of neighboring dialects. It was difficult then to determine what is the correct spelling in our own dialect. In Cebuano dialect, we particularly have the liberty to pick any vowel in our words. We don't mind if it is u or o, i or e. There was a time that post-Spanish era lexicographers patterned their spelling to that of the Hiligaynon which is heavily embedded with letter u and their perception that it was proper to always use "u" simply because "gahi og dila ang mga Bisaya." Others retain the Spanish influence that they opted to use non-Filipino alphabet such as that they would write "gui" instead of its short form gi as in guinamos for ginamos or cho instead of tso as in tambucho than tambutso.

    The evolution of spelling is dramatically presented in the book "Sugilanong Sugboanon" of the Ateneo de Manila Univesity Press (c) 2009 (edited and translated by Erlinda K. Alburo, Vicente Bandillo, Simeon Dumdum Jr. and Resil B. Mojares). In the first sets of the anthology of fictional short stories the influence of Sp anish alphabet is prevalent. When the twentieth century looms in, the standard Cebuano spelling has evolved. As shown in the anthology of short stories in "Sugilanong Sugboanon," Cebuano writers eventually embraced the what we called now as our contemporary style and standard. The use of "u" has been minimally and prudently applied in the text.

    In his dictionary, Edgie fused all entries under ng with the entries under n because it is more practical to combine them when ng is can be found as we browse through the entries under n. Edgie even suggested to modify our alphabet to include

    non-Filipino letters as there are several hundred names of notable people, interesting and historical places that use foreign letters. These names are everywhere in the Visayas and Mindanao. Edgie is planning to use in the future edition of his dictionary a modernized Visayan or Filipino alphabet. In fact, one published Pinoy dictionary (I think it's from UP) that has already used this modernized version of Filipino alphabet to include the unavoidable and unalterable spelling of other regions such as words from Batanes that use lots of v (example is Ivatan, the native islander of Batanes) and the Capampangan who uses c for k such as that in Pampanga they spelled kare-kare as care-care because there is no k in Capampangan dialect. In his case, Edgie also finds it difficult to include in his dictionary some entries that refer to names of places that use non-Filipino letters. This was the same dilemma faced by John U. Wolff when he compiled his dictionary. To resolve his problem, Wolff changed the original foreign spelling by phonetically transforming these foreign words and names. This was his only way to conveniently fit with the existing letters in the Visayan alphabet. Thus, under his entry on "kumbinsiyun" (actually its for the english word "convention") he wrote:

    kumbinsiyun - "...binsiyunan karun ang pag-itsapuyra ni Lawril (That is what they're having a convention for: to expel Laurel).

    He altered Laurel into Lawril.

    Likewise, in his entry under butyag, Wolff wrote:

    butyag - Nianhi si San Huwan Bawtista arun pagbutyag sa maayung p

    ulung (John the Baptist was sent to reveal the good news).

    It's too awkward that he spelled the name of the apostle this way, instead of simply writing it as Juan Bautista which is more logical choice of spelling because the Christian religion today (particularly the Catholic faith) has been directly influenced by the Spaniards. It's was during the Spanish era that Christianity and acts of apostles were introduced to us.

    It is also noticed in his dictionary that Wolff overused "u" in writing his entries and sample sentences. This is the same observation in Mimi B. Trosdal's dictionary, the "Formal Functional Cebuano-English Dictionary." She overused u more often than Wolff as if she forgot that o is part of the Visayan alphabet and that this circular vowel represents the softer and lighter sound of u.

    When the dictionaries of Atty. Tomas V. Hermosisima (Dictionary Bisayan-English-Tagalog) and Father Rodolfo Cabonce, SJ (An English Cebuano Visayan Dictionary) were published, the overuse of u became minimal. Hermosisima and Father Cabonce were the pioneering lexicographers who standardized the spelling of Cebuano words. They were credible word compilers and lexicographers being that by their profession, they have extensive direct knowledge of the dialect, more than the fact that they were native Cebuano speakers themselves. Yet, they failed to include in their dictionaries entries about great people and places with historical and interesting value, simply because they cannot afford to follow the style of Wolff - altering the spelling of foreign names and places.

    I cannot also find much entries on names of interesting places and people in the contemporary dictionaries of  the following compilers/ lexicographers:

    • Marivic Q. Avila (English-Filipino Synonyms);
    • Judge Amado M. Calderon (My Travel Companion in the Philippines);
    • Jess Vestil (Broadcast News in Cebu: English-Cebuano Dictionary of news Terms);
    • Rose C. Mañalac (Filipino-English Visayan Dictionary);
    • Cristina S. Canonigo (Conversational English-Cebuano made easy);
    • Jamela Poran (English-Tagalog-Cebuano Translator);
    • Francis J. Jamolangue (Pocket Dictionary: English-Tagalog-Visayan Cebu ano-Ilonggo Vocabulary);
    • Erlinda K. Alburo (A Dictionary of Cebuano Arts);
    • Ben E. Garcia (Visayan English Vocabulary; Thesaurus Visayan-English Vocabulary Asia-Pacific I & II; English Visayan Vocabulary - Thesaurus Style; and Visayan-English Thesaurus);
    • Philip M. Paker (Websters Cebuano - English Thesaurus Dictionary);
    • Lito Go of Binisaya.Com (Online dictionary: Binisaya-English Dictionary), and others.

    Edgie is now challenged to use the modernized Filipino alphabet, like the the one used by the UP Publication. As his first step in enhancing the Visayan language, he promotes in his dictionary that when adopting a foreign word (loan word), one must retain the original vowels used in the word (because all the vowels are present in the Visayan alphabet) and change only the consonants that cannot be found in the Visayan alphabet with the Visayan counterpart, and of course consider the phonetic pronunciation of the foreign word. Example is the word "computer" that must be written as "kompyuter" in Cebuano. This rule was already adopted by the writers and editors in the Bisaya magazine (I started reading this magazine in 1977 when I was in Grade 1. I can still remember the serialized komiks story of Butsoy, Zinka, Gertrudo, Ifugao, etc., and the ever tickling Gitik-gitik )

    With the adaptation of modernized Visayan alphabet, Edgie can now combine his other Pinoy dictionary (such as "The Philippine Places" and "The Filipino Foods and Cooking") with the Cebuano-English dictionary. Once combined, you only need one Visayan dictionary if you want know what is Cebu City, Dr. Jose Rizal, Rizal Avenue, Fuente Osmeña, Gen. Douglas McArthur, Zamboanga del Sur, Mactan island, Mandaue City, Jones Avenue, Tacloban City, Ormoc City, Siquijor, and other places and people with foreign names and spellings.                     

    Edgie Polistico

    Feb. 22, 2010

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    Didto ko sa Davao del Sur ug North Cotabato ning miaging semana ug akong gikahimamat ang pipila sa atong mga igkasi mga Bisaya. Mayoridad sa Makilala, North Cotabato ug sa Kidapawan City ang pinulongan nga Cebuano. Mao kini ang ilang lingua franca kung ang magkaistoyahay managlain ang pinulongan. Akong gituyo nga mag-Tinagalog ko sa pagsulti aron tubagon ko og Tinagalog sa akong kahinabi. Namatikdan ko nga magbunga-bunga sila sa pagsulti og Tagalog mao nga mas maayo pa nga magsinibuwano kay dali ra ming magkasinabot. Napamatud-an ko kini kung tagatribu nga dili Cebuano ang akong kahimamat. Maglisud gyud sila sa pagtinagalog kung maoy ilang gamiton ang Tagalog isip lingua franca.

    Sa akong namatikdan sumala sa kadako na sa nalukop sa akong pagpanaw-panaw sa ka-Mindanawan, akong malaktod pagsulti nga mas daghan ug mas duot kaayo ang ihap sa mga Cebuano diha sa Mindanao kay sa ihap sa mga Cebuano nga naa karon sa Sugbo.

    Nadasig ako sa pagtuki ug mao nga napadpad ako ngadto sa Kapitolyo sa North Cotabato nga nahimutang sa Brgy. Amas, Kidapawan City. Sumala sa mga tinipon nga mga SEP (Socio Economic Profile) sa pipila ka mga lungsod nga gipahulam nila nako ug tan-aw (salamat sa akong nahigala sa Provincial Planning and Coordinating Office (PPDO), nasayran ko nga sobra pa sa 80% ang mga nanulti og Cebuano sa Kidapawan City ug kanait nga mga lungsod.

    Apan medyo moderno na ang kadaghanan sa mga pulong nga ilang gigamit diha sa ilang adlaw-adlaw nga pakighinabi.

    Sa Davao City ug Digos City halos wala kay mabatian nga lain nga sinultihan. Cebuano gyud ang mihari nianing mga siyudara.

                                                                                        - Edgie Polistico


    Click this link to get more about Weather Today in Cebu

    (Ang mga pulong nga pangdikit sa sinultihan nga Sebuwano)


    • prefix (unang dikit) -   [n.] a syllable, group of syllables, or word joined to the beginning of another word or a base to alter its meaning or create a new word


    • suffix (ulahing dikit) - [n.] a letter, syllable, or group of syllables added at the end of a word or word base to change its meaning, give it grammatical function, or form a new word


    • infix (tungang dikit) -   [n.] a morpheme that is added within a word to give the root word another form or meaning
    click here...for more


    Counting numbers in another local dialect is not that easy

    Talking about food, one cannot ignore that money is always involved. When you look for the ingredients, most often you don't just pick them from the backyard garden or catch fish from your pond and slaughter a cattle or hog for meat, because you don't have the pond and farm anyway. Of course, you will be obliged to go out the house and buy what you need from the grocery, palengke, side walk vendors, and even from itinerant vendors and peddlers.

    OK, if you don't cook, because you have no time (a good excuse for one who doesn't know how to cook), you would just go to the restaurant or carenderia and buy food. Afterwards, you will be asked to pay what you ordered. Then, are you ready to give the right amount? What if you don't understand the amount being asked because it is said in local dialect, and for some reason the person telling you the amount could not say it in another language that you can easily understand. It would be so bad that you have been to a place in the other side of the Philippines that speaks words you never heard before. What will you do? Of course, you will be asking someone else to translate words for you. Isn't it better if you have with you a ready reference to consult with. A dictionary perhaps.

    Thus, situation like this, encouraged me to include the list of local denominations used across the country. Such as the following: 
    pera (pé-ra; Tagalog) (kuwarta or salapi in Cebuano; kwarta or sapi in Boholano; salapi or kuwarta in Waray; kwarta or kuarta in Ilongo; pirak, moneda, kuarta or kuwarta in Bicolano; kuarta or pirac in Ilocano; kuwarta in Pangasinense; pirak or koalta in Maranao; kulta in Maguindanaon; selapi in Subanon) [n.] money
    *barya (bar-yá; Tagalog and Capampangan money) (a.k.a. sinsilyo in Capampangan; sensilyo in Cebuano; sensilyo or sinsilyo in Bicolano & Ilongo; sensiyo in Boholano; kuarta a saan a papel in Ilocano; sinsilyo in Pangasinense; tibok in Maranao) [n.] coin \loose change
    *balyo (bál-yo; Waray and Bicolano money) [n.] coin in exchange for paper money, same as Ilongo kambio, below
    *isang  piso (i-sáng pi-so; Tagalog) (piso  or usa ka piso in Cebuano, Boholano, & Waray) [n.] a peso \one peso, referring to the worth or price of something
    *dalawang  piso (da-la-wáng pi-so; Tagalog) (dos or dos pisos in Cebuano, Boholano, & Waray) [n.] two peso, referring to the worth or price of something
    *tatlong  piso (tat-long pi-so; Tagalog) (tres or tres pisos in Cebuano, Boholano, & Waray) [n.] three peso, referring to the worth or price of something
    *kambio (kám-byo; Ilongo and Bicolano money; dw Span. cambio [change thing]) (balyo in Waray; a.k.a. balyo in Bicolano) [n.] coin in exchange for paper money and for the same amount
    *piso (pí-so; Tagalog, Cebuano, Boholano, Waray, and Ilongo monetary amount) [n.] peso, used as local denomination of Philippine money. When the amount is more than one peso, piso becomes pisos, as in dos pisos (two peso), singko pisos (five peso), dyes pisos (ten peso) etc.. When referring to the amount of money, Cebuano, Boholano, Waray, and Ilongo often follows with the Spanish count numbers, while the denominations of local money in Tagalog would use the Tagalog count numbers, as in isang piso (one peso), dalawang piso (two peso), limang piso (five peso), sampung piso (ten peso), dalawampung piso (two peso), isandaang piso (one hundred peso), etc.
    *sag-uli (sag-úlì; Ilongo money) [n.] change, same as Tagalog sukli, below
    *sensilyo (sen-síl-yo; Cebuano, Bicolano, and Ilongo money) (also spelled as sinsilyo in Bicolano & Ilongo) [n] coin, same as Tagalog barya¸above
    *sukli (sùk-lî; Tagalog, Cebuano, Boholano, Waray, Bicolano, and Capampangan money) (sag-uli in Ilongo; sambi or sorang in Maranao; pasungsong in Pangasinense; supli or nasinasina a babasit a kuarta in Ilocano) [n.] change; The money given back in excess to what was paid or what was due

    In my ongoing revised version of my Pinoy food dictionary, I added more entries pertaining to local denominations, count numbers, even local terms that pertains to different kinds of measurement, not just for dry and wet but also about here to read more


    By: Edgie Polistico © 2009 – Manila ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
    Last update: Sunday, July 24, 2010 12:27:06 PM

    How and when to use "nga" 

    nga – (nga) *usa ka dikit-pulong o pangdugtong nga pulong nga gamiton taliwala sa panghulagway nga pulong (adhetibo o adberbo) ug sa butang o bagay nga gihulagway (ngalan o bagay), aron pagpasabot kung unsa nga butang o matang ang gihisgotan; ang kuan - [connective] a connective word placed between the desribing word (adjective or adverb) and the thing being described (object or subject), it is used to specify the association or description of something. When used as connective, nga functions similarly close to the following English connectives: is, are, was, were, that, who, which.

    *Isip dikit-pulong o pangdugtong nga pulong sa paghulagway, ang “nga” dili kakitaan og katugbang nga pulong sa Ingles. - when used as connective, “nga” has no equivalent word in English. Hence, it is silently written in between the word being described and the describing word.

    * bata nga babaye (female child \girl)

    * kadto nga una (the one mentioned before)

    * kinsa nga tawhana? (spefically who?)

    * lami nga pagkaon (delicious food)

    * pula nga bola (red ball)
    *Himatikdi usab nga sa paggamit og “nga” isip pangdikit o pangdugtong, pareho lang gihapon ang buot ipasabot o kahulogan bisan og bayloon pa ang pulong panghulagway ug ang gihulagway - Notice also that by using “nga” as connective, the interpretation and meaning is still the same even if you interchange the describing word and the word being described.

    * bata nga babaye = babaye nga bata (female child \girl)

    * bato nga bantilis = bantilis nga bato (a granite stone)

    * lami nga pagkaon = pagkaon nga lami (delicious food)

    * layo nga lugar = lugar nga layo (far away place)

    * pula nga bola = bola nga pula (red ball)

    *(Timan-i: ang pagminubo sa panagkos “nga” ngadto sa gisundan nga pulong angayan lang buhaton sa inato-ato nga paglitok o panagsultihanay, ug angay likayan nga gamiton sa panulat o pormal nga pakighinabi) [Take note: contracting or adjoining “nga” to the preceeding word is applicable only in casual conversation, and should be avoided in written or formal communication]

    * ako nga > akong (my)

    * bata nga > batang (a child who is)

    * bato nga > batong (a kind of stone that is)

    * kadto nga > kadtong (the one mentioned earlier)

    * kinsa nga > kinsang (owned by \whose)

    * dako nga > dakong (the big one)

    * lami nga > laming (the delicious one)

    * pula nga > pulang (the red one)

    * puti nga > puting (the white one)

    * tawo nga > tawong (a person, someone who is a)

    * usa nga > usang (one of the)
                                        - Edgie Polistico


    UG and OG are not the same.

    ug – (ùg) *kauban ang; apil ang [conj.]and
    *ang simbolo nga “&” para sa “ug” [n.] the ampersand or the sign "&” for the conjunction word “and”

    og – (og) *og kuan [art.] a \some

    Use “ug” as connective word when enumerating the last item of a series of things mentioned.

    ako ug ikaw (you and I)
    ikaw, sila, ug ako (you, them, and I)
    yuta, tubig, kalayo, ug hangin (earth, water, fire and air)
    tinapay ug keso (bread and cheese)
    kan-on ug sud-an (steamed rice and viand)
    si Pedro ug Juan (Peter and John)

    Use “og” as preposition when referring to or introducing the object of the sentence or when describing the characteristic of something.

    dako og pus-on (with a bulging belly)
    nindot og balay (having a beautiful house)
    motaob og dako (will have a big tide)
    og mosabot dayon (will easily understand)
    pastilan og moulan (what if it will rain)

    *ang panagkos nga “og” sagad idikit og sumpay sa gisundan nga pulong nga nagtapos og paningog  nga titik ug usahay ngadto sa pulong nga nagtapos og titik “y” o kaha “n”. Apan likayi ang pagdikit  sa “og” kung pormal ang pakigpulong - [connective] when used as ligature, “og” is more often  joined (suffixed) to the preceding word that ends in vowel and in few instances to word that ends with “y” and “n”.  Take note, however, that this rule applies only to informal communication.  Do not suffix “og” when engaging in formal communication

    *- dako og ulo > dakog ulo (big headed \having a big head)

    *- ukaya og maayo > ukayag maayo (mix it well)

    *- patay og  kuko > patayg kuko (having dead toenail)

    *- butangan og asukal > butangag asukal (put some sugar)

    *- bayaran og dako > bayarag dako (be paid in huge amount)

                              - Edgie Polistico

    "ngabil" ug "wait" - which part of your mouth

    ngabil – (ngá-bil) *ang ubos nga wait sa baba sa tawo [n.] lower lip of man's mouth; ang ngilit sa baba sa lungag o puwerta sa mga butang [n.] the brim or edge of the opening of some things, can be used interchangeably with wait in this sense.

    wait – (wa-ìt) *ang ibabaw nga parte ug katugbang sa ngabil sa baba sa tawo o hayop [n.] upper lip of man's mouth; ang wait sa kinatawo sa babaye [n.] the labia of the vagina; ngabil sa baba sa lungag sa usa ka butang [n.] the brim or lip of the opening or mouth of something, as in jar, glass, pitcher, and the like, and can be used interchangeably with ngabil in this sense. 

    Uyon ako sa opinyon nga mahimo nga baylo-bayloon ang wait ug ngabil.

    Tugoti ko sa pagklaro nga ang wait ug ngabil nga gihisgotan dinhi mao ang parte sa baba sa tawo o hayop, dili ang wait o ngabil sa mga butang. Samtang ang sa kinatawo sa babaye (bisong), pareho nga wait ang tawag sa magkatugbang nga mga ngilit (labia) sa puwerta niani.


    Ang wait dili sagad nga gigamit sa pagngalan sa ngilit sa puwerta sa mga butang sama sa banga, botelya, baso, ug uban pa. Mogamit kita sa wait kung ang gihisgotan mao ang baba sa tawo o hayop. Matod pa sa mga nauna pa kanato nga mga lexicographers, ngabil ang gamiton sa pagtawag sa ngilit sa baba sa mga butang. Ang ngabil gigamit sa paghisgot sa wait sa mga bagay. Gani, matod pa ni John U. Wolff (who did considerable research in the 1960s and early 70s on the Bisaya language) sa iyang nauna nga salmot sa pulong nga ngabil diha sa iyang diksyonaryo nga gititulohan og Dictionary of Cebuano Visayan [Volume II (1962)], siya misulat og salmot nga nagkanayon:


    ngabil “n” 1 lips. 2 brim of a container. “Pun-a ang banga hangtud sa ngabil”, Fill the jar up to the brim, v [A; b6] put a brim to a container.


    wait “n”1 lip (not used in romantic contexts). “Mga libakira nga dagko, nanipis na lang ang mga wait,” They are a bunch of gossips with their thin lips. (Gossipers are said to have thin lips.) 2 lip-like edge, brim. “Dunay buak sa wait sa banga”, There is a nick on the lip of the jar.


    Busa, ang ngabil mao ang sa mga bagay, ug ang wait mao ang sa tawo o hayop. Pero tinuoray nga ingon og mabaylo-baylo gyud ang wait ug ngabil kay “wait” man ang gigamit ni Wolf alang sa banga.


    Pero tan-awon ta yuna ang mga mosunod.


    Si Atty. Tomas V. Hermosisima (Researcher of the Bisayan language, Board of the Bisayan Language Academy, former Associate & Literary Editor of the Bisaya weekly), nagkanayon usab sa iyang diksyonaryo Dictionary Bisayan-English-Tagalog [1966] nga:


    ngabil, bahin sa baba, wait n. Lip (labi) -ngabil-ngabil, n. Liplike structure, as lip of a pitcher (labi-labian), *-ngabil-ngabilan * v. Put lip, as to a pitcher (lagyan ng labi-labian).


    wait, ngabil, n. Lip (labi)


    Puwede gyud diay nga bayloon, pero mas labaw nga gigamit ang ngabil kung ang gihisgotan usa ka butang.


    Samtang si Father Rodolfo Cabonce, S.J. nga taga Cabadbaran, Agusan ug usa ka misyonaryo nga pari nga Heswita (Jesuit), mitigum sa pagsulat og mga pulong nga Sebuwano samtang siya nadestino sa lain-lain nga mga lugar sa Mindanao, Metro Manila, ug lakip na sa Roma diin siya naordinahan niadtong 1938 sa pagkapari ug diin siya nagpadayon sa pag-alam sa pilosopiya. Siya misalmot sa iyang diksyonaryo sa mga mosunod:


    lip, I. n. (one of the two borders of the mouth; liplike organ) ngabil; wait (edge of anything) ngilit; ngabil; (mouth) baba, lip good, maut; salingkapaw; naphaw; lip reading pamasa'ng nginabil. lip service, binabang pangalagad; minaut nga pasidungog, lip movement kibutkibut sa ngabil; tiamtiam (in tasting). lip wisdom, mapagawalong pulong; malimbungong mga pulong; mga pulong wala'y unud. lower lip protruding, ngabil naglambi. having overhanging lips, yakmo; yak-um. twitch lips before, or in suppressing, sobbing -tibi; hibi. II. v.t. (touch with the lips) -padapatan og ngabil; waitan; (kiss) -halok; (lap) -tilap; tila; -hamoy; (utter) -bungat; litok.


    (It is worth noting that Wolff used the dictionary of Cabonce as one of his references. Hence, Wolff used wait for banga because Fr. Cabonce said that wait is the edge of anything.)


    Pero kuydawo ta, kay matud ni Mimi Borromeo Trosdal, usa ka linguist nga nag-alam sa "research language and sociocultural aspects of the Cebuano-Bisayan people," diin migamit siya og scientific reasons and practical reality (with time span covering from World War II until in 1990's), siya misalmot sa iyang diksyonaryo nga Formal-Functional Cebuano-English Dictionary with an English-Cebuano Lexicon [1990], mahitungod sa ngabil ug wait nga nagkanayon:


    ngabil - /n/: "lip"

    wait - /n/: "inside portion of the lips"


    Duna pay lain nga mga panulat bahin sa wait or ngabil, apan labaw nga nakahatag kanako og pagtagad ang mga salmot nila ni Wolff, Hermosisima, Cabonce ug Trosdal tungod sa ilang pagka-professional.


    Busa, ang wait ug ngabil usa gayod sa mga pulong sagad libog gamiton, apan diay depende lang gyud kana kung unsay gihisgotan sa nagsulti. Tiaw mo ba matud pa ni Trosdal nga ang wait diay naa ilawom sa lips. Mas nalibog na hinuon ta ani.
    Namatikdan ko usab, sumala sa akong mga biyahe palibot-libot sa kapupud-an sa Bisayas ug Mindanao nga adunay kalainan sa paggamit sa pipila sa atong mga pulong. Oo, adunay pagka-regionalize. Pananglitan na niani ang ihap nga usa nga kung tua na ka sa Mindanao ang maong ihap nahimo na nga isa. And paggamit sa ihap nga usa dili tungod sa impluwensiya sa Tagalog, kay sa tinuoray lang gikan kini sa kasikbit nga kayutaan sa Asya. Gawas sa mga Davaoeño, Agusanon ug Cagayanon, ang ihap nga isa gigamit usab sa mga Maranao ug Maguindanaon


    Busa, ato nga himoan og standardization ang paggamit sa pulong nga Sebuwano aron mas sayon nato nga gamiton ug saboton ang atong lumadnon nga pinulongan. Aduna pa akoy namatikdan nga lain ang standard sa pagsulti kay sa pagsulat sa atong pinulongnan. Tungod niani, tinuoray gyud nga mabuang pirme ang ulo sa translator sa korte atol sa hearing. Sulayi usab ninyo pagpakli ang mga panid sa police blotter o logbook sa atong kapolisan, ikaw maoy mabuang og sabot sa ilang gipanulat sa blotter. Labaw ka na nga mabuang kung basahon nimo ang logbook sa inyong security guard. Di ba? Tinuod nga sayon kaayo saboton kung isulti lang and Sebuwano apan lisod sa lisod na kung isulat sa paagi nga dali kini nga masabotan sa mobasa.


    Nakamatikod ka ba nga dili sakto ang pagsulti og "nindot kan-on ang litson gikan sa Cebu" kay ang sakto gyud ana mao nga "lami kan-on" dili "nindot kan-on" di ba? Pero naandan na ang pagsulti og nindot nga may pagka taudtaod na tungod kaha nga wala mabadlong o tungod nga wala kitay standardization. Hinuon, sa English adunay gitawag nga idiomatic expression (idiom for short) diin puwede nga ilakip ang pagkagamit sa pulong nga nindot isip panghulip sa lami.


    One of my intention in compiling the Commonly Confused Cebuano Words is to establish a standard in our language. Anybody could be my critic, and I always need these people to scrutize my work. I also have to check and balance my compilation with the rest of Cebuano dictionaries and the present actual usage of our language. Besides, I cannot claim perfection by doing this project all by myself. Daghang salamat mga higala sa inyong mga pagpuna ug pagsuhistyon sa akong lagda sa Commonly Confused Cebuano Words. Kung duna kay susama nga listahan sa akong mga lagda sa Commonly Confused Cebuano Words, seguro maayo nga magbakas ta sa pagtigum nianing mga pulonga o magpadayon ta sa pagbayloay og mga opinyon mahitungod sa mga pulong nga sagad kalibogan sa atong igkasi-Sinebuwano og sinultihan, lakip na ang mga langyawanon nga nagtuon sa pagkat-on og sulti ug pagsabot sa pinulongan nga Sebuwano. Giawhag ko usab ang uban sa pagpadala og salmot sa akong lagda nga Commonly Confused Cebuano Words.


    Mabuhi ka!
                                     - Edgie Polistico

    Philippine Illustrated (formerly: The Making of Pinoy Dictionary Today) to know more about Edgie Polistico's dictionaries

    Spelled similarly but pronounced differently

    In Cebuano, there are words that are spelled similarly but are not having the same meaning.  Their meaning depends on how would  you pronounce the word. It depends on how long would you prolong the sound of the vowel and how soft or hard you put the stress or accentuate the vowel in every syllable.

    bala – (bá-la) *ang mosulpot inigbuto sa pusil; igbabala sa armas [n.] bullet \ammunition
    bala – (bal-lâ) *1.) hinayon og ulo; dili dayon makasabot [adj.] slow-learner; 2.)*bugo; bulok [adj.] dull \unintelligent \thick-skulled (id.) 

    bata – (bá-tâ) *anak sa tawo nga dili pa linghod; bagtos [n.] child \kid \youngster
    bata – (bá-tâ) *alalay; batos-batos [n.] follower \henchman
    bata – (bá-tà) *sapot sa pagkaligo [n.] bathrobe \robe

    buto – (bú-tô) *otin [n.] penis
    buto – (bu-tô) *lalaki nga baboy nga pampasanay; barako [n.] boar \male pig
    buto – (bu-tó) *ang lanog nga tunog sa pabuto; ang pagbuswag sa bomba o pulbora nga inubanan sa lagapak o malanog nga tunog; sipa nga tunog [n.] explosion \blast \boom \detonation \bang
    boto – (bó-to) *ang pagpili sa kandidato [n.] vote

    kon – (kòn) *1.) pananglitan nga [conj.] supposing \if ;
    *2.) pananglitan lang nga mahitabo [conj.] if \in case \in the event of
    kon – (kón; dw Eng conch) *kinhason nga kolon [n.] conch
    kon – (kón; bw kon < kolon; dw Ceb kólon) *daba nga lutoan; kaldero nga hinimo sa pinabagtik nga lapok [n.] cooking earthen pot
    kun – (kòn) *o kaha; o dili ba [conj.] or

    kung – (kùng) *kon [conj.] if
    kong – (kong; bw kong < akong < nakong) *minubo sa “nako nga” o “nakong” [pron.] short for nako nga or nakong, which means “my”

                                - Edgie Polistico 

    HYPHEN - when and how to use it in Cebuano

    Use hyphen when a root word is repeated, more particularly if the root word is consists of at least five (5) letters. This will help ease reading and pronouncing the repeated word.

    kulang-kulang (incomplete \stupid)
    pagkulang-kulang (make incomplete or stupid)
    kulang-kulangan (be incomplete)
    buslot-buslot (holes)
    pagbuslot-buslot (make some holes)
    buslot-busloton (having many holes)
    sabot-sabot (petty discussions)
    pagsabot-sabot (discuss)
    (have a discussion and talk about that thing)


    You may not use hyphen if the repeated root word or syllable is less than five letters.  Use hyphen for repeated word or syllable that is more than 4 letters to aid easy reading as well as in pronouncing.

    hunahuna (thought)
    paspas (fast)
    taktak (tap)
    pakpak (clap /wrapper)
    loklok (insert /hide)
    kitkit (nibble /nip)
    (estimation /estimate)  
    barung-barong (shanty)
    buhok-buhok (artificial hair /wig)
    suroy-suroy (stroll /going around places)
    kanta-kanta (spend some time singing)
    bagtok-bagtok (somewhat stiff or hardened)
    bahog-bahog (pudding made of recycled bread)
    dayan-dayanan (have it decorated with)
    hunong-hunong (intermittent pause or stop)
    kagang-kagangon (rickety)
    kalangay-langayon (sluggishness /procrastination)
    tulbok-tulbokon (with dots /dotted)  

    Use hyphen between the repeated words if the first word ends with a vowel and the second word begins with another vowel. The hyphen will help ease the reading and pronunciation. The hyphen would also help emphasize that the adjacent vowels are sounding distinctly from each other.

    ayo-ayo (fix up)
    igo-igo (enough)
    (toy car)

    Use hyphen when proper noun is attached to a prefix. This will help distinguish who and what is being referred to by the proper noun.

    kang-Pedro (owned or belongs to Peter \Peter’s)
    ka-Pedro (at Peter’s place)

    kang-Juan (owned or belongs to John \John’s)

    ka-Juan (at John’s place)

    taga-Pilipinas (someone from the Philippines)

    taga-Leyte (someone from Leyte)
    taga-Sitio Dos (someone from Sitio Dos)
    pang-Bisaya (for a Visayan) 
    More particularly use this rule when the proper noun retains its original spelling that has foreign letters.
    taga-Cebu (someone from Cebu)
    taga-Northville Village (someone from Northville Village)
    taga-PMA (someone from the PMA)
    taga-Insular Life Co.Ltd. (someone from the Insular Life Co. Ltd)

    pang-high school (for use in high school)

    Use hyphen when wrtiting counting numbers
    dise-otso - eighteen (18)
    dise-nuybe - nineteen (19)
    biente-uno - twenty-one (21)
    singkuwentay-tress - fifty-three (53)
    sitentay-nuybe - seventy-nine (79)
    mil-kinyentos-kurentay-sais - five-thousand-forty-six (5,046)
    nuybe-milyon-kuwatro-siyentos -
    nine-million-four-hubdred (9,000,4000)

    Hyphen repeated words that itself represents a sound. This rule applies irregardless of the count of letters or the word being repeated

    twit-twit (tweeting sound of a bird)
    tot-tot (a toot of a horn or trumpet)
    ting-ting (the ting of a small bell being struck)
    he-he-he! (the sound of one’s laugh)
    bang-bang! (successive firing of a gun)

    Use hyphen when combining two words, such as:

    kakha-tuka (hand-to-mouth)
    doble-kara (two-faced)
    human-daan (ready-made)
    balay-bata (ovary)
    medya-agwa (eaves)
    wala-tuo (ambidextrous \left-rigth)

    Use hyphen when a word begins with “kontra”, to mean that it is against or that it counters with the word that is attached next to it. This rule applies iregardless of the number or count of letters of the word attached.

    kontra-partido (opposition party)
    kontra-senyas (password)
    kontra-basa (waterproof)
    kontra-mabdos (contraceptive)
    kontra-sosyo (anti-social)

    Use hyphen when a word begins with “de”, to mean that it is “devised with” or “has something with it.” Mostly, these words have an Spanish origin.

    de-pasahero (for passenger)
    de-numero (by number)
    de-motor (motorized)
    de-bomba (operated by an air pump)
    de-kaha (by the case \in crate)

    However, in modern use, “de-“ is now replaced with “de” with the hyphen removed, as in:

    de-lata = delata (canned goods)
    de-kalidad = dekalidad (with quality \of quality)
    de-lana = delana (woolen)
    de-karga = dekarga
    (cargo truck or freight car)
                                                                                  - Edgie Polistico 


    You can also check my other compilations under subfolder MS Word Files and view the following MSWord files:

  • AAA-BBB.doc
  • KKK-HHH.doc
  • III-OOO.doc
  • PPP-PPP.doc

  • Open also the subfolder Compiln and view my html files:

  • Philfest.html
  • Edgie Polistico's Dictionary of Philippine Festivals (sample copy)

  • PhilFoods.html
  • Edgie Polistico's Dictionary of Philippine Food and Cooking (sample copy)

  • PhilPlaces.html
  • Edgie Polistico's Dictionary of Philippine Places (sample copy)

  • EBP-suffixes.htm
  • Edgie Polistico's studies on affixes used in Cebuano. Recommended for those who are non-Cebuano speakers to easily learn the many mode and transformation of base words. This will help you understand how Cebuano root words transform to have new or another meaning. (sample copy)

  • TagLish.html
  • Edgie Polistico's Tagalog English Dictionary (sample copy)

  • ZIP-Code.html
  • Edgie Polistico's compilation of postal ZIP Codes used in Philippines. It covers Metro Manila and all provincial towns in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao (sample copy)


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